Friday, October 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Center City District report: Where are the jobs?

Philadelphia does not tax too much, but taxes the wrong things, a new report says.

Center City District report: Where are the jobs?

For those Philadelphians who have jobs, where do they work?

The Center City District released a report today that looks at employment in the city broken down by Council district. The report shows that 190,773 Philadelphians travel to the suburbs for work because the city’s four major areas of employment: Center City, University City, Temple University and the Navy Yard are not “large enough or expanding fast enough.”

Philadelphia’s “dependency on wage and business taxes disproportionately pushes mobile office tenants and entrepreneurs to lower cost suburbs,” according to the report, which adds that Philadelphia does not tax too much, but taxes the wrong things.

Of local tax revenue, 66 percent is from “highly mobile wages and profits.” In comparison to other cities, similar taxes in New York City make-up 34 percent of tax revenue, in Washington, D.C., its 35 percent.

Meanwhile Philadelphia gets 17 percent of municipal tax revenue from real estate, New York City gets 41 percent and Washington, D.C., 36 percent.

So, what needs to happen?

The report notes that there needs to be an increase in the number of private-sector jobs in the four employment hubs as well as in other neighborhoods of the city. About 87 percent of working residents do not work in their communities.

The report also stresses a need to improve public education, community college and job training systems and create a more favorable environment for job creation by changing what is taxed.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to
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